What is a private cloud?

A private cloud attempts to mimic the delivery models of public cloud vendors but does so entirely within the firewall for the benefit of an enterprise’s users. A private cloud would be highly virtualized, stringing together mass quantities of IT infrastructure into one or a few easily managed logical resource pools.

Like public clouds, delivery of private cloud services would typically be done through a Web interface with self-service and charge-back attributes. “Private clouds give you many of the benefits of cloud computing, but it’s privately owned and managed, the access may be limited to your own enterprise or a section of your value chain,” Kloeckner says. “It does drive efficiency, it does force standardization and best practices.”

The largest enterprises are interested in private clouds because public clouds are not yet scalable and reliable enough to justify transferring all of their IT resources to cloud vendors, Carr says.

“A lot of this is a scale game,” Carr says. “If you’re General Electric, you’ve got an enormous amount of IT scale within your own company. And at this stage the smart thing for you to do is probably to rebuild your own internal IT around a cloud architecture because the public cloud isn’t of a scale at this point and of a reliability and everything where GE could say ‘we’re closing down all our data centers and moving to the cloud.'”

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